This year in my quest to become more organized I’ve created a “Homemaking Notebook”. I originally saw one on someone else’s blog a couple of years ago but when I decided to finally make one I googled it and saw that this was not a new idea at all! There are many websites and blogs about this very thing. So I took an idea or two from different people as well as making something that would suit our household.
A homemaking notebook or binder is supposed to be an organizer for the entire household. But seeing as I am the only one using it, I added a lot of personal items to it as well. As the kids get older I’m sure there will be more in there in regards to school schedules, and extra curricular activities but for now it’s basically for me to keep the house fairly organized.
Here are a few of the items I put in my binder:
1. Cleaning List- I broke up all the rooms of my house and what all needs to be done in each room. I then broke it down into days and now I have a checklist for each day (Monday-Friday only).
2. Menu- I’ve printed out a calendar for the month and I’m planning our meals at least 1 week in advance. Since I’ve started doing that I’ve noticed that I’m much more organized when it comes to grocery shopping and keeping to my grocery budget. (A great website for calendars in excel format is www.vertex42.com)
3. Food Diary- This isn’t a household matter but because I’ve created this binder to be used only for myself I have this in here as well. I’ve been tracking everything I eat or drink and tallying the calories and protein amounts. Since I’ve begun this I notice I really think twice about snacking or having a can of soda.
4. Bible Reading- I’ve committed myself to reading the Bible in 1 year. So I’ve created a spreadsheet that tracks my reading so that if I follow it, I will have read the entire Bible in chronological order by the end of December.
5. Prayer Journal- This section is a place to jot down anything that I feel God is speaking to me about or things I need to pray about.
6. Budget- In this section I’ve created a spreadsheet that shows every bill we have to pay on a monthly basis as well as a spot for each month of the year. As we pay our bills I will put an “x” in the spot and it helps to show us what has already been paid for the month and what still needs to be paid.
I’ve also printed out our budget that I’ve created that shows how much money is coming in and how much is allotted to go out. We keep ourselves on a very tight budget that is mostly cash based so we cannot overspend. When the cash runs out for the week, we can’t spend until the next week when I refill our envelopes. Since we’ve begun this budget we’ve been finally able to put a small bit of money away for the first time.
7. Birthdays & Anniversaries- This is the section where I’ve put down all the birthdays & anniversaries of family members and close friends. Mainly the people I intend on sending out cards to.
My mom recently told me that one of her aunts used to buy all the birthday cards for the year at the beginning of the year and fill them all out. She would address the envelopes and file them away so that every card just needed to be dropped in the mail as the birthday came near. I think this is a fabulous idea and I hope to try to start that this year.
8. Garbage Schedule- Where I live they’ve made our garbage & recycling a bit of a confusing matter, so I’ve printed up a calendar of our garbage & recycling schedule to keep me organized on what goes out when.
9. Emergency #’s- I haven’t completed this yet, but this is a section to keep all phone numbers that may be necessary in an emergency. Poison Control, the local hospital, police station, family doctor, paediatrician, etc. This could also be great if you get a babysitter so you have every number she may need in one place.
10. Notes- In this section I’ve just put lined paper in so that if I need to jot something down or even write a quick note to my daughter’s teacher, the paper is right there and I don’t have to go hunting for it.
So these are the sections in my binder, but there may be more that would suit your family.
For many, a section to create a grocery list may be handy. I don’t use that because I have an app on my ipod that I enter my grocery list on which keeps track of prices and categories for me.
If your kids are older it may be beneficial to have a section for each child to keep track of extra curricular activities, assignments, or even just a place to keep their medical records.
I’m sure as the year progresses my notebook will evolve and will hopefully be even better next year, but for now I’m already finding it very helpful for both home and personal organization.
Have a great day!